2018-04-11 / Letters

Opposition to megasite is growing

While the business leaders from area business associations, such as the Chester Business Association, have endorsed the Chesterfield Economic Development Authority’s proposal to rezone 1,675 acres from residential/mixed use to heavy industrial in Chester, there are many who oppose this plan. In fact, there are approximately 1,400 residents opposed to this plan. The number continues to grow as more people learn how this proposal will affect their neighborhoods and the future of additional megasites throughout the county. Many realize that while this proposal may not be in their backyard, the next one may be.

Many of those supporting this plan are small businesses who rely on county residents to sustain their business. They may be risking losing customers with hope that the megasite “may” generate additional future business. All one has to do is research what businesses belong to these associations.

I have seen the dollar figure of $15.5 million used in many articles to imply what the EDA will spend to purchase the megasite property and make it ready for a user. The $15.5 million will only purchase the property; add in the cost of the infrastructure (freeway, rail, water, sewer) and all those costs associated with it (traffic analysis, environmental, etc.) and you soon realize your $15.5 million has now turned into hundreds of millions of dollars – all at taxpayers’ expense and no guarantee the property will have an end user.

While the EDA uses the Meadowville Technology Park as a success story for the county, the taxpayers know otherwise. We are still experiencing this pain, and the county still remains in the red over that decision, not to mention the low-paying jobs this “success story” brought to the county.

And more importantly, research indicates megasites do not belong in residential areas, and the county’s current comprehensive plan supports this. All Chesterfield residents need to take a close look at this proposal. It may not be in your backyard today, but it very well may be there next. Supporting economic development is fine if it’s carefully planned and located in an area already zoned heavy industrial. The Board of Supervisors consists of individuals elected to support their constituents. When you have 1,400 residents (and growing) in opposition to any proposal, it’s time to start listening to the people.

Frances Wargofcak

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